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Top 3 Benefits of Fitness on Mental Health

Despite the countless, science-backed benefits of fitness on mental health, it’s typically not the first line of defense most medical professionals go to for treatment options. And yet, fitness has proven benefits on everything from stress and self-confidence to brain chemistry and sleep. 

AMP’s Top 3 Benefits of Exercise on Your Mental Health

  1. Exercise and Your Brain Chemistry
  2. Exercise and Sleep
  3. Exercise and Increased Self-Esteem

Exercise and Your Brain Chemistry

Most famously, exercise increases the body’s endorphins, a type of hormone released by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. They are released as a response to stress or pain and are therefore regarded as “the body’s natural pain killers” or our “feel good hormones.” In this way, exercise can decrease anxiety and improve symptoms of depression.

Exercise also kick-starts neurogenesis — the process by which new brain cells are created. This helps increase focus and improve memory. Exercise also bridges communication between the sympathetic and central nervous systems, allowing the body to better respond to stress. 

Exercise and Sleep

Sleep is another often overlooked component of mental health, and one that exercise has a direct positive impact on. The release of endorphins triggered by exercise has a post-workout calming effect that results in greater relaxation at bed time. Exercise’s ability to lower anxiety and stress contributes to falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer.

Exercise and Self-Esteem

Exercise’s biological effects and cognitive benefits are thought to contribute to increased self-esteem. While many will attribute this to the various ways exercise affects one’s physical appearance, another important factor is how accomplished you feel after finishing a workout — especially one you may not have wanted to do in the first place.

When asked about the mental health and fitness connection, our own Dr. Adrian Mesa believes, “If there was one prescription that I could give to each and every one of my patients it would be the prescription to exercise.” While lifestyle changes may not be enough for some who will have to seek medication management for mental health illness, lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise provide a stable foundation upon which we as a society can promote healthier habits for body and mind. 

Are you in the Miami area? Join us on Saturday, January 29th at 9:30 at Phillips Park in Coral Gables (90 Menores Ave) for our first ever AMPED UP Bootcamp, a FREE fitness bootcamp promoting exercise for healthier minds. For more information check out our Instagram @amp_mental_health

Seeking mental healthcare can be challenging. AMP can empower you to find the solutions you’re seeking.

Take the first step towards finding your balance.


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